n 1731, a Spanish commander cut off the ear of
British Captain Robert Jenkins
and told him to take it to his King.
This began the
War of Jenkins' Ear.
British Admiral Edward Vernon
recruited 400 American colonists, including
George Washington's half-brother.
They sailed to Panama and captured the
port city of Porto Bello
was the most prosperous Spanish city in the New World as all the
gold of Central and South America flowed through it to Spain.
British Admiral Edward Vernon
, but was unable to capture it.
returned to Virginia as a 25-year-old war hero.
Lawrence served in Virginia's assembly and militia, and named his farm
in honor of
Admiral Edward Vernon.
After Lawrence died, George, at age 20, inherited
In 1742, the
War of Austrian Succession
began when Marie Theresa became the first woman to take Austria's throne.
This pulled Prussia and France into the war, which combined with the
War of Jenkin's Ear
King George's War
The threat of war shook colonists out of complacency and contributed to the spread of the
Great Awakening Revival.
The British took the French city of
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
, in 1745, which was the third busiest seaport in America, behind Boston and Philadelphia, and was
New France's second most important commercial city after Quebec.
French Admiral d'Anville
set sail with the most powerful fleet of its day: 73 ships with 800 cannons and 13,000 troops.
intended to: "expel the British from Nova Scotia, consign Boston to flames, ravage New England, and waste the British West Indies."
Massachusetts Governor William Shirley
Day of Prayer and Fasting
, October 16, 1746, to pray for deliverance.
Boston citizens gathered in the
Old South Meeting House
, where Rev. Thomas Prince prayed:
"Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the water...scatter the ships of our tormentors!"
DVD Vol. 1- Miracles in American History (Episodes 1-10)
Historian Catherine Drinker Bowen related that as he finished praying, the sky darkened, winds shrieked and church bells rang
"a wild, uneven sound...though no man was in the steeple."
A hurricane scattered the entire French fleet as far as the Caribbean.
Lightning struck several ships, igniting gunpowder magazines, causing explosions and fire.
With 2,000 dead, including Admiral d'Anville, and 4,000 sick with typhoid, French Vice-Admiral d'Estournelle threw himself on his sword.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his poem,
The Ballad of the French Fleet
"Admiral d'Anville had sworn by cross and crown,
To ravage with fire and steel our helpless Boston Town...
There were rumors in the street, in the houses there was fear
Of the coming of the fleet, and the danger hovering near.
And while from mouth to mouth, spread the tidings of dismay,
I stood in the Old South, saying humbly: 'Let us pray!'
'Oh Lord! we would not advise; but if in thy Providence
A tempest should arise, to drive the French Fleet hence,
And scatter it far and wide, or sink it in the sea,
We should be satisfied, and Thine the glory be...'
Like a potter's vessel broke, the great ships of the line...
Were carried away as smoke...or sank in the brine."
This great deliverance encouraged
to organized Pennsylvania's first "volunteer" militia with 10,000 signing up.
career of public service, as he became the most popular person in the colony.
also propose a
which was approved by
and published in the
, December 12, 1747:
The calamities of a bloody war...seem every year more nearly to approach us...
and there is just reason to fear that
unless we humble ourselves before the Lord and amend our ways, we may be chastized with yet heavier judgments.
We have...thought fit...to appoint...a
Day of Fasting & Prayer
, exhorting all, both Ministers & People...to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent supplications
that Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian blood."
The threat of war was averted, and Philadelphia was spared.